Thursday, December 09, 2010

Is It Really Just a Southern Thang?

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Tea? Or more specifically ~ Sweet tea?

Southerners like to claim that it is, but I think my love of tea began as a child. And I am not from the South.

I remember my mom making sun-tea in my Arizona backyard. When we later moved to the South, we took our love of tea with us. Okay, so maybe the "sweet" part is a bit southern because I don't think my mom has ever drunk sweet tea.

Boy, I did, though. I think true southern sweet tea could be bottled and sold as syrup. Don't you think? Yep, you could just whip up some pancakes, smear 'em with butter, then just pour that syrupy sweet tea right over. Ugh, I cringe just thinking about that stuff. You would, too, if you'd ever had a "sweet-tea headache."

When I got married, I was adding an entire cup of white, refined sugar to a gallon of tea. And when it wasn't cloudy, rainy, or cold, you can bet that I was baking it in the sun!

As I started becoming pretty health conscious, I cut back to 1/2 a cup of sugar to a gallon of tea. (Oh, and I only drink decaf Luzianne.) My hubby wasn't too thrilled about that change being that he was a true southern boy. But, health overruled. :) Not to mention he could just add more if he wanted.

That last change lasted a good, long while, but I became unsatisfied with that, too. I wanted to somehow take even more white, refined sugar out of my diet, and I knew from where a bunch of it was coming ~ my tea. I love tea! I drink it daily! Mmmm, add a squirt of fresh lime and, oh, yum! So refreshing. :)

Anyway, I have tried sweetening with raw agave and it is good but expensive. Plus some health experts say the way agave is processed isn't really all that great. Raw honey is just too thick for cold tea, which is how I like it. Cold.

So, this post brings me to Stevia. I don't know why I have been afraid to try it. All natural is the claim. Comes from a leaf. Supposedly liquid form is less processed. Anyway, I gave it a try. Not bad. Different at first. It has only been a couple of weeks and I am completely used to it and have happily figured out the stevia to tea ratio: 4 droppersful (is that a word?) of stevia to one gallon of tea.

My tea has changed quite a bit over the years, but hopefully it will be for better health!

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